Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Bit2Me from Spain

You don’t always hear good things about Bitcoins these days; and the one or other negative headline can be read in the media. But there are always two sides of the same coin. Our Applied FinTech finalist Bit2Me says about their business model: “Buying and selling Bitcoins was never that easy.” In our interview, CEO Leif Ferreira tells us how exactly his startup does that and does away with prejudices.

What is Bit2Me all about? How did you come up with the idea?

bit2me_logoLeif: Bit2Me is a company based in Spain. The company was founded in 2015 and is focused on Blockchain technology. We have two of the best Blockchain programmers of Europe, who have won the Visa Fintech Americas world championship in October 2015. Also one of the largest banks in the world, CaixaBank has awarded us as the best 2015 startup in Spain. One year ago, our internal question was, can we do banking with locals, rather than traditional banks? Can a bank be a tool and not a service? There are countries where it’s more expensive to maintain a bank account yearly than a smartphone with internet. So in this line we detected how to do banking without banks, without middlemen companies with the user in the centre. We call this the natural evolution of banking. It’s a different perspective of design.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Leif: Hive is a mobile application that provides a disruptive way to decentralize the financial market. It builds a social and open banking ecosystem that never touches people’s money. It allows them to organize themselves in order to create a peer to peer financial human network. More…

Messe Karlsruhe

Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress-GmbH offers plenty of space for digital pioneers

Karlsruhe is an important centre of IT. With over 4,200 companies, a diverse landscape of science and research, and circa 30,000 people employed in the ICT sector, Karlsruhe and its surrounding region comprise Europe’s fourth-largest IT cluster. This is also clearly reflected in the portfolio of Karlsruher Messe- und Kongress-GmbH (KMK). KMK is very favourably positioned in this future-oriented industry with well-established events about digitization in the fields of education, healthcare, and the mobility and financial sectors, which number among the core themes of the Code_n new.New Festival.

Picture: Behrendt & Rausch Fotografie

Picture: Behrendt & Rausch Fotografie

A few examples are: LEARNTEC, IT-TRANS – International Conference and Exhibition on Intelligent Urban Transport Systems –, the Congress on Ambient Asissted Living (AAL), SAP DKOM, and the COM trade fair for IT and banking. These and other events with a focus on IT annually attract thousands of experts from around the world to Karlsruhe. LEARNTEC and IT-TRANS also number among the exhibitors at CODE_n. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

This is the Must-Have App you truly need: the unique new.New Festival App!

Walking around with information brochures is so 2015. And browsing a website on your smartphone can be annoying, too. But at new.New Festival you should feel totally comfortable and well informed. That’s why we got you covered with the new.New Festival App! Here you have everything easily at hand: from a map with all locations to information about the speakers, it’s all there. And yes, you can download it for free! So believe us, you will want this App to fully enjoy your visit at the new.New Festival. Are you curious? Then let’s talk about the features and benefits of the new.New Festival App! Oh, but if you cannot wait any longer, you can also get the free new.New Festival App here.

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Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Community Life from Germany

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Not a lot of people like to deal with insurance issues. A fact, of which the team of Community Life was aware of, too. Reason enough for the Frankfurt based FinTech to design really easy to understand key protection products that people can get completely online. Founder Claudia Lang (Phd) told us more about the idea behind Community Life.

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Dr. Claudia Lang

Claudia, what is Community Life GmbH all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Claudia: I was on the board of a life insurance company, so know the industry from the inside. What I saw more and more was that people are not happy with insurance companies. They know that the right insurance protection can be important, but they would prefer going to the dentist to filling out an insurance application. They think: “I can’t understand it, so I can’t trust it, all that paper stuff and then the insurance salesman monopolising my couch.” So we decided to tackle all of that and make it better. That is why we designed really easy to understand key protection products that people can get completely online. Customers have a secure portal on which they can change information about their policies and see their entire transaction history, including phone calls and chats. And we disclose how we earn our money because openness is an important part of trust. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: egoHEALTH from Italy

eh_logoIn the western world it is estimated that, each year, about 40 billion US $ are spent for the treatment of hospital infections which nevertheless cause 140,000 more deaths. Isn’t it great to know that our CODE_n CONTEST Finalist egoHEALTH has a solution to this? After a long research, they came up with a wearable device which, without any new duty from the Health Professionals, will contrast hospital acquired infections. Founder Gabriele Messina, a doctor himself, told us more about his startup:

What is egoHEALTH all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Gabriele: Sometimes the hospital nature to solve health problems, paradoxically turns into a vehicle of infection. The medical literature has proved the importance of fighting hospital infection to reduce both the health damages of patients (clinical complications and mortality) and healthcare costs due to increased patient’s length of stay and treatment. The treatment of nosocomial infections is increasingly complex and costly, even for the development of resistant microorganisms. The problem is particularly severe for the elderly, infants and debilitated subjects (transplants, invasive surgery, etc.) and immuno-deficient people. In the western world (USA and EU-28), having a population of around 800 million people, it is estimated that, each year, about 40 billion $ US have spent for the treatment of hospital infections which nevertheless cause 140,000 more deaths.

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All things that come into contact and are shared between health staff and patients are possible carriers of infection. Nosocomial infections are often due to inadequate and shallow management of cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing processes. The operators’ hands are the main vehicle of germs/viruses transmission and cause of hospital infection. The stethoscope is the most known portable instrument in the medical field and is frequently used by doctors and nurses for the auscultation of diagnostic sounds. It has been demonstrated that stethoscopes are contaminated as the hands of health operators, but while there is a lot of concern for disinfecting the hands, for example disinfectants ‘distributors attached on walls, there is no attention for stethoscopes. Yet the stethoscope head is always in contact with the patient! The stethoscope membrane can easily carry germs/viruses/fungi from one patient to another and/or from doctor to patient and it requires disinfection before each new visit. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: Bank4You / TaxFree4U from UK

VAT refund for purchases made in the EU – in a simple mobile and online way. What sounds too easy to be true, is what the solution of our next CODE_n Finalist Bank4you / TaxFree4U offers. Co-founder Dan Chernavski told us more about his startup and “banking without borders”.

What is Bank4you / TaxFree4U all about? How did you come up with the idea?

bank4you_logoDan: TaxFree4U is the VAT Refund for purchases made in the top shopping destinations in the EU (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain). The idea to create it occurred to me, when after my European travels and shopping I decided to get a VAT refund through one of the existing Refund operators. Just for the record, I didn’t manage to get it, because my declaration was incorrectly completed. Just imagine how angry I was having wasted more than 4 hours waiting, filling in forms etc. for nothing!

Today the world is going online and uses mobile technologies in daily life to save time. Therefore, I decided to develop a mobile VAT refund service – TaxFree4U – that allows you to solve 2 major issues: correctness of completing forms and saving time.

“Digital Disruption“ – that’s the motto of this year’s CODE_n CONTEST. What makes your solution innovative, what makes it disruptive?

Dan: These days whole world lives in a rush and mobility is our main advantage. Applications and online services are in trend at the present day market, and it is because of their flexibility and possibility to save time for the client. TaxFree4U is the VAT refund service that suggests the minimal involment of the customer into any paperwork, and saves him/her from waiting in queues while getting the refund.

You’re one of the 13 finalists in the Applied FinTech contest cluster. Which challenges do you think young companies have to face in this sector? How do you handle these challenges?

Dan: Innovative mobile products demand that the clients get used to them and learn how to use them. All our clients are very busy with their daily life, and as they have to deal with great amounts of information each day, they have no time for filling in any details and forms manually, not to mention for standing in queues! We developed the simplest procedure possible than any existing one on the market for getting the VAT refund. All you need to do is to complete the 4 easy steps and you will receive up to 19% from the price of your purchases. More…

Filiz Sarah Gärtner

Meet our CODE_n CONTEST Finalists 2016: fino from Germany

These days, even your bank account switch happens digital and runs off paperless. The next CODE_n finalist in our blog series – fino – offers a digital account switch service. By now, more than 80 banks are using fino’s service, which helps them in the on-boarding process of new customers. We talked to Florian Christ, founder and CEO of fino. In our interview, he tells us all there is to know about his FinTech.

fino_logoWhat is fino all about? How did you come up with the idea?

Florian: At the end of 2014, fino started with the idea to enable people switching an existing bank account to a new bank within a few minutes without any paperwork. During that time, an account switch to a new bank was only possible with a lot of paperwork for both the customer and the bank. After building the founding team of fino, the development for the digital account started in May 2015. In September 2015, just six months later, the first version of the digital account switch was ready for launch as a web and mobile solution. Today, two years later, the account switch service has been used by thousands of customers across Germany, helping them to move their old account to a new bank.

Meanwhile, more than 80 banks such as Commerzbank, 1822direkt, Wüstenrot and others are using the digital account switch of fino. The service helps banks in the onboarding process of new customers. Within that context, fino has developed a range of additional digital services in the past six months. All services were developed in close collaboration with banks. This includes a credit card and deposit switch application, as well as new processes for account opening and loan applications. More…

ZKM

The ZKM – an experimentation workshop for artists, researchers, and its many visitors

One human trait that many would like to have, but few actually ever master, is to “think opportunity” at every turn. One person who can claim that he has done this all of his life is the founding director of the ZKM, Heinrich Klotz. It was in 1989 that he gave the ZKM the opportunity to think as big, active, and – perhaps most importantly – innovative as it is today. In the same year, he also set up the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) in a former munitions factory in Karlsruhe.

© ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Uli Deck

© ZKM | Karlsruhe, Foto: Uli Deck

And why Karlsruhe? Because Karlsruhe is where technology is at home in Germany. It was here that Professor Werner Zorn, at that time head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Karlsruhe, and his assistant Michael Rotert received the first email through a German server in 1984 and it is here that the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is based, which is known across the world for its technical degree programs. This vibrant, young city of pioneers had no concept of such an institution in the 1980s, especially one of such magnitude, but its affinity for all things technological made it the ideal location for setting up an arts and media center. At the time, the ZKM also presented the people living in and around Karlsruhe with a major opportunity. They could now flourish – as art and science open up – on a completely new level. The ZKM also attracts a great deal of attention from the socio-political and philosophical communities and it has an important role to play in a technology region that’s active in research and development, frequently providing reminders of society’s ethical, moral, and democratic responsibilities. More…